Tutor and international student perspectives on an action research project: use of a business strategy simulation with mixed nationality cohorts

Clive R. Kerridge*, Colin Simpson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to present the results of a curriculum design intervention, which was undertaken to address the inhibitors and enablers facing international (mainly Chinese) students on a capstone undergraduate strategic management module at a UK university business school. Design/methodology/approach: Using an action research approach, the pre-intervention phase identified two main concerns: low levels of student engagement and avoidance of generic academic and language support. The module was subsequently redesigned around a group-based strategic business simulation (requiring collaborative participation of all students), with embedded language and academic support, plus the involvement of bilingual teaching staff. Findings: Post-intervention results from the four-year study indicated enhanced academic engagement of international students and a narrowing of the performance (grade) gap between domestic and international students. Practical implications: Overall findings should provide strong support for the inclusion of active learning pedagogies in undergraduate business course deliveries, also complementing educational literature that advocates the effectiveness of constructivist pedagogies in mixed-nationality classrooms. Originality/value: This study exemplifies a form of participatory action research. The juxtaposition of comments from support and specialist tutors, along with those of students, highlights the validity of views from each stakeholder group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-258
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Education in Business
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date4 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Action research
  • Active learning
  • Business simulation
  • Constructivist pedagogies
  • Experiential learning
  • Mixed-nationality classes
  • Mixed-nationality classrooms

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